I found this text in one of my reading. I wonder what the role of so in the text because I find it hard to translate into my language.

Since I am a teacher of and consultant in engineering and management, the majority of my contacts are with people who are analytical. quantitative, verbal, logical. These are certainly exellent traits for any problem-solver. However, so is the ability to conceptualize freely, an activity that requires a somewhat broader thinking vocabulary. I am deeply concerned with attempting to better define this cocabulary and with helping people expand in this direction.

Is so still the conjunction or is it carried any other meaning?

Where is the subject of the text (is it eliminated for speficif reason)?

is using so here familiar with academic writing?

are there any other words carried the same funcion as this so?



The so refers to the "excellent traits" of the previous sentence. You could also say: "However, an excellent trait is the ability to conceptualize freely..."

  • I think substituting so with "an excellent trait" will change the meaning of the text. What do you think? – user8944 Jul 14 '13 at 11:51
  • 1
    At best, it would have to be Another excellent trait is... to preserve the meaning. – Tim Lymington supports Monica Jul 14 '13 at 13:23

These are exellent traits for any problem-solver.
However, so is the ability to ...

Note the inversion of the auxiliary verb is in the second clause; it should normally follow the subject noun phrase the ability to ... The two sentences together form a So-Tag, where so means also and refers to the predicate of the preceding clause, as Jens has pointed out.

  • Billy went to the ball game, and so did Mary. (with Do-Support)
  • Frank is tired, but so is Mary.
  • These are excellent, but so is that.
  • So are you saying that it acts pronominally here? – Mitch Jul 14 '13 at 14:33
  • Not pro-nominally, but pro-verbally. It represents the predicate in this construction; and in some others -- notice the deletable so in Bill hit the bullseye, and John did (so) too. – John Lawler Jul 14 '13 at 16:26
  • But I would still say that if it is replacing something else that 'pronoun' is the best label for that. ('that' replaces 'it is replacing something else') – Mitch Jul 14 '13 at 16:35
  • Pro-form is the general technical term; pro-noun, pro-verb, etc. – John Lawler Jul 14 '13 at 16:43

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